US to investigate possible civilian deaths in Syria strike

US to investigate possible civilian deaths in Syria strike
2 min read
04 December, 2021
A US military spokesman said the MMQ—9 reaper strike targeted an unnamed senior al-Qaeda leader, aiming to disrupt he group’s operations and ability to carry out attacks.
An initial review has found that civilian casualties may have been caused [Getty]

The US military has launched an investigation into reports that it killed civilians in a drone strike on Friday, which targeted an al-Qaeda leader in northwestern Syria.

"We abhor the loss of innocent life and take all possible measures to prevent them," US Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban was quoted by CNN as saying. "The possibility of a civilian casualty was immediately self-reported to U.S. Central Command. We are initiating a full investigation of the allegations and will release the results when appropriate."

Urban said the MMQ—9 reaper strike targeted an unnamed senior al-Qaeda leader, aiming to disrupt he group’s operations and ability to carry out attacks.

An initial review has found that civilian casualties may have been inflicted, according to CNN.

This is not the first time this year that the US has investigated civilian deaths in the aftermath of its Syria operations.

In September, an investigation was opened after a similar strike - also in Idlib and targeting an al-Qaeda leader - was said to have killed civilians. The probe led to the Pentagon recently admitting to 

The US also came under fire in August over a drone attack on a man it said was an Islamic State group operative in Afghanistan.  The man was later revealed to be an aid worker, who was killed in the strike alongside  nine members of his family, including children.